Steve Reba: Enter the Pipeline

The thirteen-year-old sat at the defense table with his mother.  The school principal, serving as prosecutor and the district’s sole witness, occupied the table to their left.  Three administrators from other district schools stared down from their elevated bench. Sitting with the tribunal, indistinguishable in both presence and role, was the hearing officer. When the boy’s mother attempted to ask the principal a question, he would invoke his role as prosecutor.  When the inquiry was directed at the hearing officer, he would explain that he was not a witness.